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ICYMI: Red Wings and Coyotes hook up on a trade

The former rivals decide to help each other out for once.

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In case you missed it late last night, the Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes hooked up on a minor deal. The Coyotes acquired defenseman Robbie Russo from the Red Wings in exchange for a conditioned 7th round draft pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

Check it out:

OFFICIAL: Coyotes acquire defenseman Robbie Russo from Detroit in exchange for a 2019 conditional seventh round draft choice.

Again, this is a minor deal, as it’s not expected that the 25 year old Russo will have much of an impact with the Coyotes in 2018-19. The 6 foot 2 inch, 192 pound defenseman did have a solid nine goals and 32 points with the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins in 2017-18, however. More interestingly, by trading away Russo the Red Wings now have the fewest amount of contracts on the books of almost any other team. The NHL instates an upper limit rule of just 50 contracts, which some teams have a difficult time of adhering to. The Wings currently have just 31 players signed, but of course restricted free agents Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha are all expected to be signed to new deals later this summer. Beyond that though, general manager Ken Holland has bought himself some roster flexibility.

Here’s the official press release announcing the trade with some info on Russo, courtesy of the Coyotes’ official website:

*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:*
Sunday, June 24, 2018
*GLENDALE, ARIZONA -*Arizona Coyotes President of Hockey Operations & General Manager John Chayka announced today that the Coyotes have acquired defenseman Robbie Russo from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a 2019 conditional seventh round draft choice.
The 6-foot, 192-pound Russo registered 9-23-32 and 81 penalty minutes (PIM) in 75 games with Grand Rapids (AHL) in 2017-18. The 25-year-old native of Westmont, IL has recorded 21-82-103 and 160 PIM in 204 career games with the Griffins. He has also skated in 19 career games with the Detroit Red Wings.
Russo was originally drafted by the Red Wings in the fourth round (95th overall) in the 2011 Entry Draft. 

Again, it remains to be seen whether Russo ends up having an NHL impact or not, but for the rebuilding Coyotes they're clearly looking to undercover talent however and wherever they can this offseason.